Making the Grade: A look at Connor Barwin

Making the Grade: A look at Connor Barwin
February 13, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Making the Grade: Connor Barwin

Now that the Super Bowl is over and the NFL is into the offseason, we’re taking a position-by-position look at the Texans. We’ve already looked at the secondary, tight ends, O-line, special teams, running backs, coaches, defensive line and quarterbacks. On Tuesday, we looked at linebackers.

Today, we give an extra close look at Connor Barwin.

Stud: Barwin in 2011

Barwin has said he now regrets not signing a contract after 2011 a little bit. And that makes sense.

Barwin was really good two years ago.

With 11.5 sacks, he led the Texans. The next closes on the team was Antonio Smith with 6.5.

But it wasn’t just sacks, Barwin also had 47 tackles, seven passes defensed and a forced fumble. His ProFootballFocus grade wasn’t great at negative-0.90 but that was much better than his grade this season.

Dud: Barwin in 2012

From 11.5 sacks in 2011, Barwin finished 2012 with just three. He had fewer sacks, tackles and passes defensed in 2012 than he had in 2011.

But the biggest missing number was sacks. Last year Barwin looked like one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. This year, he wasn’t. Sure, he needed to move around more this season because of the injury to Brooks Reed. Barwin had to move to the strongside, where he wasn’t able to rush the quarterback as much.

His ProFootballFocus grade in 2012 was a dreadful negative-18.9, which was the third-lowest grade for a 3-4 outside backer this year.

Look ahead

Barwin is a free agent this offseason and will probably want to be back in Houston if possible and the Texans would love to have him back.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. In fact, there’s a really good chance that won’t happen.

The Texans don’t have much room under the cap and Barwin will obviously look for as much money as he can get. There will probably be a team out there that will be willing to give Barwin a hefty deal based on his potential to do what he did two years ago.

Barwin is one of the important guys the Texans would like to re-sign but he isn’t the most important. That distinction is held by safety Glover Quin. But still, if the price is right, the Texans would certainly re-sign Barwin. But only if the price is right.